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October 2013 | Outsourcing Blog | BPO Industry Updates and Articles

Growth Factors of PH BPO

by: Sarah Joson

Thursday, October 31, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Martin Conboy, Director of The Outsourcing Guide, shared in an article at TheSauce.net.au some highlights of his conversation with Mon Ibrahim, Undersecretary of the Department of Science and Technology wherein they discussed the current state of the Philippine business process outsourcing (BPO) industry and its growth opportunities brought about by government-driven efforts.

Factors to improve the BPO industry in the Philippines

These are the factors that the government and local BPO bodies are focusing on to further improve the outsourcing industry of the country:

Growth in "Next Wave Cities"

The Philippines bested India as the leader in call center outsourcing. However, for non-voice and complex outsourcing processes, India retains its top position and the Philippines, with more than 200,000 employees, comes in close second.

To sustain the country’s strong position in the outsourcing industry, it should promote and develop its "Next Wave Cities" - areas outside Metro Manila that have favorable business environments.

By 2016, 20 cities all over the Philippines should at least be employing 20,000 skilled and competent Filipinos.   

The Filipino Workforce
Talent development of Filipinos is also a priority. Ibrahim said he’s closely working with the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) in creating training programs.

For regions outside Cebu and Manila, it was discovered that people with good English skills have become harder to find despite the fact that the country has a high percentage of English-speaking population (70 percent).

Ibrahim also pointed out that they have partnered with local ICT councils, educational institutions, and local government bodies to analyze what each region lacks in the business aspect, and what needs to be done to overcome the challenges.

Reinforcing the Educational System
The government has implemented the K-12 system which adds two more years in the academe for Filipino students and aims to equip high school graduates with the necessary skills to qualify for basic jobs. The additional two years in high school include social sciences, business administration and management, and STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics).

Shortage in Supervisors and Team Leaders
Various sectors in the Philippines have a rapid movement of employees and structure. The government believes that the country has to improve its pool of supervisors in the middle management division to create more opportunities for career growth.

Getting Familiar with Foreign Culture
With the influx of foreign investors, employees should be made aware of their client's culture. The government is also working on cultural training programs. The Philippines already has strong affinity with the Western culture, though it still needs improvement when it comes to Japanese, European, and Australian cultures.

Social Media Trends to Expect in 2014

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Top Trends in Social Media 2014

As a new year approaches, so does the evolution of social media trends. No longer a backup marketing tactic, social media now plays a huge role in business growth.
Now is the time to start increasing your social media marketing efforts to keep up with the industry changes. Strengthen your online presence by thinking ahead and taking into consideration these predictions as to where social media is headed in 2014.
Dedicated Social Media Staff
Because of the sudden rise of social media as a major marketing tool, most businesses have been forced to assign social networking responsibilities to existing staff. And while some companies have someone from the marketing department taking care of updates, others have business owners themselves handling the job.
In 2014, businesses will have dedicated social media staff as they begin to see the importance of social media marketing. And with so many skilled, experienced professionals now seeking employment, it won't be difficult for businesses to find experts who specialize in the field.
Content Aggregation Sites
News aggregator sites like Digg are now gaining popularity within individuals and business professionals who want to stay informed on what the web is talking about at any given time. These sites are useful tools for businesses which are promoting products and events. Make your marketing content original and as interesting as possible to gain attention.
Exposure through Influencers
Businesses and marketers will begin to realize the advantage of guest blogging on high profile sites to gain exposure. Getting high profile influencers will be more favorable than offering free products and services because consumers nowadays rely more on what they read online.
Text is No Longer Enough
Gone are the days when people would simply use text to post a status update about what they're up to. Today, in an effort to interact with others, users' updates wouldn't be complete without photos, videos, check-ins, and more. In 2014, all kinds of businesses will make use of social networking services like Instagram and Vine for creative advertising.
Marketers are realizing that Google's new changes are tailored to suit the way consumers search for information. And in 2014, marketers will need to deliver content relevant to their customers.
Customers will always look for basic details about your business. Get rid of outdated information. Ensure that details about your business are easy to find and that the same basic information is consistent across all your social media profiles and your website.
Going Viral
All marketers know how difficult it is to come up with content so compelling and unique for users to share it with others. To stand out, businesses will create different customer engagement strategies that encourage interaction of consumers with one another and with the brand.
Google is Necessary
When it started, Google+  didn't gain much leverage. Businesses and internet users saw it as just another platform in a marketplace dominated by social media giants like Facebook and Twitter.
Despite the struggle, Google seems determined to get more users to notice its social media platform by requiring a Google+  membership for marketers who want to get the search engine results they desire. Therefore, 2014 will most likely be the year that Google+  attracts more users into its circles and more content in its feeds.
Measurement and Analysis
Click-throughs, conversions, etc. are things that businesses will start tracking and focus on in 2014. Information gained from analytics will help in planning social media campaigns.
In addition to tracking consumer behavior, businesses will be setting aside part of the marketing budget for reporting. Mobile will play a large part in marketing analysis in terms of checking which marketing efforts work and which should be discontinued.
As social media continues its influence and growth, marketers are constantly looking for new ways to seek out and catch the attention of potential and existing customers. And as 2014 begins, businesses are informed enough to understand how important social media is to their success that creating social campaigns to engage customers and drive revenue growth will be the focus of their marketing efforts.

There are many types of internet users and it’s very likely that they run into advertisements that range from web banners and video commercials to pop-ups and text content. It wouldn’t be a surprise to know that most of those ads are created by content marketing service providers. In fact, a study revealed that 44 percent of B2B organizations outsource content marketing tasks.

Many businesses outsource their content creation because they do not have the necessary skill set in-house, and they want to cut their operational expenses.

Looking to outsource content marketing tasks?

To get the most out of the outsourcing operation, businesses need to pay close attention to the metrics, proper training of the workers, as well as the strategy involved in the outsourcing process.

But the question is: which type of content should you outsource, and which should be kept in-house? Business2Community.com shares some insights from content marketing experts:

Blog management
Work doesn’t stop once a blog went live. It includes monitoring the success rate or reach of each post and studying the trends for a certain industry so you would the topics to cover the next time you write for the blog. Once a blog post is published, the webmaster needs to promote the material through various platforms for more online visibility.

Article writing
Forty percent of active blogs in the US today are used to promote products. However, not all companies have the necessary skills to create high quality articles. When an article is identified by search engines as relevant and of good quality, it has a higher chance of showing up in the top spots of search engine results.

Landing page content creation
According to a report created by HubSpot, companies that have a lot of landing pages are more exposed to users and potential leads. Whitepapers and ebooks are suitable types of landing pages that can be used to redirect users to the website.

Social media management
Managing social media accounts is probably one of the time-consuming processes in content marketing. You have to deal with followers in real-time and address their inquiries.

Visual content and design
Visual content and design require a lot of creativity. Visual content is a great means for branding and catching the interest of users. It is also a great way to express something that cannot be put into words.

Keep In-house:

Company mission statement

Nobody knows more about the company than the internal management. What business executives can do is to create a mission statement on their own then ask an expert to proofread the material before publishing it.

Branding guidelines and style

Branding is essential in any company. Before a brand is represented externally, every business owner should have a design brief to present to their contractors. This includes the tone of a marketing campaign and how they want to be communicated to users.

Data on target market

The internal team should have data regarding their target market. Information is collected through extensive research and survey among their clients.

Marketing goals

Goals shouldn’t be dictated by the service provider. Business owners are the ones who tell the service provider what they want to achieve.

Using Utility Marketing to Connect with Clients

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Thursday, October 24, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Utility marketing is supplying your marketing material with useful content and information for your target audience. It is about establishing your company as a resource.
Utility marketing focuses more on the specific needs of your target audience, and may be in the form of the following:
  • A mobile app
  • A quick report delivered via email
  • A blog that provides useful tips that address the needs and issues of your customers

Tips to make your utility marketing stand out

With more and more brands getting up to speed on the latest developments in communication, here are four tips that will help make your utility marketing stand out.
  1. Timing is everything. Find out what your customers are looking for and be there to provide them with relevant content and products which are suitable to their needs. Alerts are helpful for showcasing product availability and increasing sales.
  2. Pick a platform. Deliver content using the platform most appropriate for it (eg. applications, widgets, email).
  3. Design for mobile. Remember that people are now using smartphones more than ever. Make sure that your website works across multiple devices. Ensure a great browsing experience regardless of what device they use for collecting information.
  4. Social for sharing. Make it convenient for your customers to find and communicate with you by spreading your content across social media platforms. Post updates when they are online and make your content quick for them to share with their circles by providing easy-share options.

IT Outsourcing Mistakes seen at Healthcare.gov

by: Sarah Joson

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

An article posted at CIO.com.au explained the IT outsourcing mistakes made in one of US’ big ventures. The $400 million Healthcare.gov project by the US federal government received a lot of flak soon after it was launched. What was expected to be an end-to-end portal for US citizens seeking healthcare insurance became a dreadful experience due to the bugs and problems encountered by users.

IT outsourcing mistakes made in one of US’ big ventures

According to an article from the New York Times, the project failed due to missed deadlines, miscommunication among outsourced IT contractors, and last minute changes on the website’s basic features.

Peter Bendor-Samuel, CEO of outsourcing consultancy and research firm Everest Group said the US government and its contractors had too much on their plate. The impact of the consequences became a huge problem and when it was overlooked, complications multiplied.

Another important factor identified by Adam Luciano, principal analyst at sourcing analyst firm HfS Research, is that sometimes, contractors and project managers failed to focus on the user experience of major websites such as Healthcare.gov. Citizens need healthcare, and establishing a website aimed to help them handle a complex matter is a major responsibility. The goal is to make healthcare easier to understand and more accessible, but the people behind the project failed to see that.

These contributed to the rocky launch of the site:

Failure to gauge capacity and influx of users - They fell short in projecting how many profiles will be created which is why the website demonstrated a lot of glitches and it wasn’t scalable enough to cater to millions of users. Clients should look into the agility, coverage, and flexibility of an IT outsourcing contract.

They made hasty decisions - Large projects that require complex systems and technology should be tested multiple times before it is officially launched. Even small ones run through a rigorous testing period, so those that are hastily launched are sure to be unsuccessful. What buyers should do is study the strengths and weaknesses of IT outsourcing companies and analyze their track record.

Overlooked customer experience -
The website was a big deal because it’s not as if users who needed healthcare information and assistance had options. The people behind the project overlooked the user friendliness of the website. Buyers should somehow come up with ways to create a good partnership with their providers. It can be in the form of reward system or incentives, which can help motivate providers to come up with solutions that can help improve a project.

They didn’t have contingency plans - Wrong rates were posted on the website and they were not able to change those immediately. This could lead to an onslaught of problems for both the federal health organization and users. It is now too late for them to correct the misinformed subscribers and they would have to address each person’s concerns and issues.

Information wasn’t properly circulated - The project was highly vulnerable to miscommunication because they had several providers. They also needed metrics that were uniform or at least similar to one another so that they know the progress of each segment.

Some providers didn’t comply with industry standards - This would be one of the most helpful tools for a project. It can easily point out if a provider will be able to deliver the requirements of the client.

Things to Consider in Insourcing

by: Sarah Joson

Monday, October 21, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Tips for Insourcing

Business owners have many reasons why they outsource certain processes of their company. Some do it to reduce costs, while others see that they lack the required skills and resources to get the job done.

However, over the past few years, a growing number of enterprises and small business were seen transferring processes. Reasons for this can be: business agility, stricter quality standards, and overhead costs from outsourcing.

Info.ISG-One.com shares important things that businesses should focus on before they launch a full-blown insourcing campaign.
Know the legal clauses. Some companies overlook the provisions in their current/expiring contract that can hold them legally liable. The clauses that business owners should really watch out for are the exact duration of the contract, intellectual property concerns, and tools, among others.

Consider your financial position. Business executives must see to it that their company is doing well money-wise because a business will be easily derailed if they fail to consider some factors that can affect their financial stability. These factors are: transition expenses as well as costs of performing due diligence, designing a strategy, and other requirements.

Make sure that the company is ready for the transition.
Some companies outsource an entire department to a service provider. They must first acquire all the necessary tools and manpower to make the proper transition.

Design a new organizational structure.
If a company decides to pursue insourcing, executives should consider that not all insourcing strategies can be easily modified according to the current structure of the organization. Executives should review the management, communications plan, and scalability of the entire company to maximize the insourcing operation and avoid risks at the same time.
Make estimates for the actual transition. A detailed transition plan will be useful to address challenges related to people, processes, technology, and knowledge transfer. Metrics should also be used to gauge the progress of even the smallest detail of the transition.

Why You should Hire "Athletes" for Your Company

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Friday, October 18, 2013 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Benefits of Having Athletes in your Team

In an article on Forbes, entrepreneur David Williams gives us a rundown on why companies should hire "athletes" - not necessarily in the physical sense (although having an actual athlete is a bonus), but those who possess traits similar to a leader's.
Individuals who carry athlete traits make exceptional hires, and here's why:
1. They are driven. With their never-give-up attitude, athletes have the will to practice a task relentlessly until they succeed. They also have a positive attitude towards work, and are able to deal with temporary pain and know whether the cause is too serious to ignore.
2. Athletes are goal-oriented. They work constantly to achieve their goals and are undeterred by difficulties. If they run low on physical strength, they work smarter, not harder. They become more efficient as they learn to become more productive.
3. They develop new skills. Aside from being well-coordinated in their movements, athletes are also adaptable to situations that call for cross-functional skills.
4. Athletes are excellent entrepreneurs. Unlike people from corporate environments who are single-minded in their objectives and tend to be specialized in their skills, athletes are business-minded individuals who are intent on making the company succeed. They are strategic thinkers and are always concentrated on the big picture and the long-term goals.
5. Athletes strive for balance. They know that unhealthy habits affect performance which is why a true business athlete maintains a balanced physical and mental health.
6. Athletes are team players. An athlete knows how to piece together the different strengths of each team member for the team's advantage. They know a great deal about respect and put the needs of others before their own.
So how do you find and hire these athletes? During interviews, consider asking about outside projects, other interests, community service, and the concepts of teamwork. Also, be more discerning to the ways you can recognize and hire for partiality instead of for evident traits. Most of David's strongest players never actually excelled at a physical sport. They never knew they were athletes, which is an important element in hiring them. After all, the world's greatest athletes are not necessarily discovered; they are fine-tuned through years of training.

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